Inside The Bills

How Hackett convinced EJ to let it fly

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2013 – 9:26 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett had two long talks with EJ Manuel after each of his two setback games this season. The first was after the first meeting with the Jets in Week 3. The second was after the Steelers game in Week 10. Here’s what he talked to Manuel about in each of those two meetings.

Appearing on the ‘No Huddle’ radio show with Steve Tasker on Sirius XM NFL Radio Wednesday night, Hackett explained what he and Manuel talked about after the first Jets game, which did not go well for Manuel. He was sacked eight times.

“EJ and I had a long talk and it was right after the first Jets game,” said Hackett. “He saw a lot, but for the first time to see the things he saw it was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I see it, but they’re really all coming after me.’

“We sat down and watched a lot of the quarterbacks across the league, the great ones, like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers. Why are those guys so good? When you put on their tape they’re truly throwing the ball before the guy is open. They’re trusting their team. They’re just dropping back, they see it and they know and throw an accurate pass and let their guys make a play. He saw that in the Baltimore game (the following week) and was like, ‘Wow you’re right I’ve just got trust the look and go.’ As he continues to see himself through that he’s going to get better.

“We had that same talk after the Steelers game. It was like, ‘Look man, throw it. Just throw it as hard as you can and don’t think about anything else and believe in what you see. You got exactly what you wanted. Just go.’”

“It’s crazy. Everybody sits there and we’re judged by what happens on that field. It’s crazy to me what he’s done up to this point,” said Hackett. “Really having two bum knees. He missed three weeks before the season started and had a week to get ready for the New England Patriots. Then he goes five games and misses another month so what he’s done up to this point has been wonderful to watch.

“I think the biggest thing for him is he’s very smart. He just needs to continue to trust what he sees it. He’ll see it and know what he’s supposed to do, but then it’s okay pull the trigger. He’s got all the talent in the world. Just throw it.

“I think that we saw that this last game. He saw the looks and identified it. He made like three or four audibles on his own and I’m like, ‘Whoa this is great.’ He just needs to continue to grow.”

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